Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Living Composer A Day

I promise to blog about other subject than Twitter, but a recent thread has some relevance with what we're trying to do here at WTJU.

A group of classically-minded Twitters started a thematic listening group, with the theme changing monthly. The idea is to listen to at least one work that follows the theme each day of the month (or at least, the weekdays). In May, this ever-growing group of participants agreed to listen to music by a living composer every day.

Now think on that for a moment. Could you participate in such a activity? How many living composers do you know? How much music by living composers is in your collection?

Of course, some names might spring readily to mind, such as John Adams and Philip Glass. And if you live near a music school (as we do here in Charlottesville), some local composers may get added to your list (Judith Shatin and Walter Ross are on mine). But how many more could you name? Enough to listen to a different living composer every day?

Not to worry. Twitter is indeed a social medium, and like any good conversation, so you can get as well as give information. Part of the fun with this daily challenge is sharing what you're listening to, and another part is discovering new music through the suggestions of others. 

Here's a partial list of what the #livingcomposeraday folks have enjoyed this month. How many are new to you?

Veljo Tormis: Raua needmine
George Benjamin: Sudden Time
Javier Alvarez: Metro Chabacano
Hans Werner Henze: Der Prinze von Homburg
David Lang: Cheating, Lying, Stealing
Peter Ablinger: Ohne Titel
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Before the Icons
Henri Dutilleux: Oboe Sonata
John Tavener: Protecting Veil

What composers would you suggest? What works by those composers?

We try to present a wide variety of contemporary classical music here at WTJU, but the discussion around #livingcomposeraday shows that there's much more out there to discover.

If you'd like to participate in the composer a day challenge and discussion, simply make sure to include the hashtag #livingcomposeraday (no spaces) in your tweet. You can also search the thread either in Twitter, or by using or other search engines by using the hashtag as a search term.

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